Are we too hard on the Rangers, or not hard enough

If this gets posted I’ll be surprised, but with all the heated debate the Lindros and the Snow articles started I thought something a little more blunt and straight to the point would stir up a better arguement. Is Sather and the Rangers the Punchline to the NHL’s worst joke, or are the fans of every other team in the league simply jealous of the spend money like its water mentality that Sather has? Read and respond.

“By Adam Proteau

The Hockey News

In January, we examined the plight of the 2002-03 New York Rangers.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Rangers are beyond bad. Imagine a triple-bill concert featuring

Roxette, Yoko Ono and The Captain & Tennille. Imagine a Tom Green

retrospective at the local cinema. Imagine being Whitney Houston’s

publicist. Imagine Dr. Phil coming to live with you for a few years.

The Rangers make all those things seem like discovering Bill Gates

libeled you in print.

In retrospect, one thing is clear: We were being too generous.

First, a quick recap: Since the season began, Rangers GM Glen Sather

has spent money like an estranged wife with incriminating photos of

her husband. He has betrayed with breathtaking abandon his Edmonton-

era mantra of fiscal responsibility, and done so wearing the smirk

that was justified when Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier were crushing

the competition, but now seems ridiculously misplaced.

And, whether or not the franchise makes a highly improbable, last-

breath run into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, he

is the architect of the NHL’s biggest atrocity since Alexandre

Daigle’s rookie contract.

In that January article, we argued Sather’s then-$70-million

experiment had blown up real good, and deserved dismantling in favor

of a youth-fueled, Vancouver Canucks-like rebuild. Instead, Sather

went out and acquired Boris Mironov, Alexei Kovalev, two-thirds of

mainland China — like you’d be shocked –and Anson Carter. In total,

he signed off on cosmetic surgery ­pricetag: $10-million for a

franchise in desperate need of a heart transplant.

Now, Rangers apologists will point to Sather’s move behind the bench,

and the team’s subsequent 10-6-3-2 record under him, as proof

positive the course has been righted.

Sure it has. And Eric Lindros is the same player he was two years ago.

Slice it any way you like, folks, but there’s nothing like the bottom

line to illustrate things, and here it is: A payroll nuzzling close

to $80-million — equal to the combined salaries of the Ottawa

Senators, Atlanta Thrashers and Nashville Predators — will be lucky

to break the .500 mark this season.

A team built to be the Harlem Globetrotters has come up playing like

the Washington Generals. That’s all you need to know.

Undoubtedly though, when the Rangers are making plans for the draft

lottery, there will be debate over whether or not Sather should get

another shot. Try convincing poor Dean Lombardi, the former Sharks GM

who still needs smelling salts to recover from a whack job reportedly

ordered because he failed to cut enough payroll from another bunch of


Let’s go over that again: Sather adds payroll, and goes from GM to

coach-GM. Lombardi cuts payroll, and goes from employed to the bread

lines. Is this Bizarro World? If Sather signs Sergei Fedorov and

trades for Jaromir Jagr and Patrick Roy this offseason, will he be

bumped up to chairman of Madison Square Garden? If he were forced to

grow an evil goatee, a la Captain Kirk, would we better understand

his actions?

If you’re still unconvinced of the menace Sather’s absurd spending

spree poses to the financial viability of the league, have a gander

at his comments regarding the Kovalev deal, a trade almost

universally considered to be a world-class salary dump to keep the

red-ink-laden Penguins solvent:

“I don’t think it’s a salary dump at all,” Sather said at the time,

his nose strangely the same size at the end of the sentence as it was

at the beginning. “It was difficult parting with the guys we did.”

The guys Sather parted with? Ahem: Try Rico Fata, Joel Bouchard,

Richard Lintner and Mikael Samuelsson. For Alexei Kovalev.

By “difficult'” Sather must’ve meant “difficult to keep from doubling

over with laughter as the paperwork was finalized.”

But that’s how it is with Glen Sather. He knows the right words to

say, and doesn’t care if he truly means it. When he presided over the

Oilers, you couldn’t get a word in edgewise over his “woe-is-me-us-


cash-cow-clubs-keep-driving-up-player-salaries” tap-dance. But when

the going gets tough — and with no playoff appearances from the

Rangers in the last five seasons, tough it has gotten — ­his empty

words are stomped into the mud by another fat check. (Speaking of

which, that could be the Penguins’ motto for next season: “No fat

checks.” You’re welcome, Mario.)

In a sense, it’d be nice to see the Rangers kept together next

season, if only to showcase them around the league as a cautionary

tale. For these Rangers, more than any other team in the NHL’s

history, prove a valuable lesson: Hockey is not a sport that

individuals win. Hockey doesn’t yield LeBron James-type saviors. The

George Steinbrenner philosophy of blindly slapping talent on top of

talent does not hold water around these parts. No, hockey is about

sacrifice, determination and teamwork. Guess what three things the

Rangers lack?

To sum things up, we turn to the wisdom of Pavel Bure, another

Blueshirt who’ll be red-faced when he’s on the links in a few weeks:

“We would have liked two points,” Bure told the Toronto Sun’s Mike

Ulmer after a 3-2 overtime loss to Ottawa March 13. “But one is

better than nothing.”

That’s all you need to know about Glen Sather and the New York

Rangers: They’re looking out for No. 1, and No. 1 only.

Ironic, then, that they’ve turned out to be a bunch of nothings.”

93 Responses to Are we too hard on the Rangers, or not hard enough

  1. flyersruleclarkstillsucks says:

    that lindros deal looks real good now for the flyers, with johnsson kapenan, and brashear! if the rangers got those three instead of lindros they might be in the playoffs.

  2. flyersruleclarkstillsucks says:

    f.y.i. the flyers got kapenan for brendle, and brashear for hlavac.

  3. DG says:

    They’re still the butt of my jokes.

    The New York Rangers…hahahahahahahahahaha


  4. aafiv says:

    “As a Ranger fan, is the lineup a joke? No…anybody in the NHL would LOVE to have a lineup such as theirs”

    Anybody ELSE in the NHL could have this lineup and WIN!

    Why can’t the Rangers?

  5. mikster says:

    Now they are actually playing defense but not scoring.

    Let their prospects grow….right now he’s trying to do something he has never done, and it’s not working.

  6. RangerSteve says:

    exactly my point. I think it all starts with it being a “star studded lineup”, and having the right man in there. I gurantee if Mike Keenan is brought into the Rangers next year, barring and okay or deal with FLorida, we will all see a turn around. Keenan will put them all in their place and even Pavel Bure said he would definately love to have Keenan has is coach next season. Trottier was the type of coach where he would talk to players behind closed doors. Sather came out and chastized both Lindros and Kasparitis during practice in front of their teammates threatening to make them healthy scratches….Kasparitis has picked up his play, and Lindros is playing hard but just can’t buy a goal. Keenan is a hardass, as we all know, and can definately help out a team like the Rangers. Could he also develop Dan Blackburn like he has Roberto Luongo? Could he develop Jamie Lundmark into an Oli Jokinen? or coudl he develop Jamie Lundmark into a Kristian Huselius(aka try to run him out of the lineup via trade).

  7. mikster says:

    Look, you make yourself look foolish by making your opinions sound like facts.

    Face it, you’re biased. Anything that has to do with the Rangers is not good at all. Even the Carter trade, you didn’t even say anything good about it. You just can’t…you don’t like the Rangers, so face it.

    “For him to say that people shouldn’t bash them because they’re an “Original Six” team is a crock, and he sounds exactly like Larry Brooks. “

    Never said that. I said that Original Six teams should be more respected, they are what built the NHL. Proteau wrote an article that a 10 year old can write, you obviously agree with what he says.

    In the end, who cares what you say? You don’t say anything new….you’re comments are rarely balanced, and always one sided.

    Admit it!

  8. mikster says:

    Umm, Rog Gilbert, Brad Park, Nick Fotiu….Harry Howell, all are former greats and in the Rangers organization.

  9. MantaRay says:

    Nick Fotiu?? Wow, your grasping. How many Cups among those names in the “great” category?

  10. Sands says:

    By loseing to the Pen’s….. with out mario in the lineup…. they need to be shot… all of them suck. Keenen needs to be brought in for some tuff love

  11. mikster says:

    Hall of Famers, Rod Gilbert….

    There are many Stanley Cupless hockey greats….

  12. beckfan says:

    And I see hes responded to everyone today (Thursday) except me.

  13. beckfan says:

    First off, Messier is 42.

    Second, what does Messier being old, Lindros not being the same after his injuries, Nedved wanting the nets to be bigger, Bure and Kovalev being one-way players ect., have to do with over paid saleries and egos equaling under .500 hockey? Nothing!

    You would have had a point if you didnt add the saleries. It made no sence. Egos and an unproductive defence along w/ bad special teams is what you should have said.

  14. beckfan says:

    If they didnt play in New York anymore then they wouldnt be able to spend the money that they do, therefore, they would become a good well balanced hockey club.

  15. beckfan says:

    Well, they are exactly like the Knicks because they are owned and operated by Cablevision and that scum James Dolan.

  16. beckfan says:

    Name ten “greats”

  17. beckfan says:

    Ya cant shoot all of em. Keep Donato, Lacoture, McCarthy and Leetch. And give the young guys like Blackburn and Lundmark a chance.

    Let Carter go back to Edmonton and play in the playoffs.

    And before you shoot Messier, let him retire instead, so we can really praise him for what he did in the past on a night for him instead of giving him two more years at $6 mill each.

    O.K. now shoot the rest!

  18. NYIchooch75 says:

    Did you seriously say Nick Fotiu? He-heh, Does that mean I can include Dave Langevin and Gord Lane as Islander greats. Thanks for the laugh.

  19. OldNord says:

    Jean Ratelle was one of the best player in NY Rangers history. Almost 1300 pts with them and Boston in the NHL.

    And BTW, Fotiu have only 137 in 646 gp so I hope that’s was a joke.

    Phil Esposito played some good seasons with NYR same with Ron Greshner(speeling?).

  20. beckfan says:

    Fotiu is kinda funny but I will say that he was a fan favorite and he was a local boy from Staten Island that made it. Fans just loved him!

  21. sportside24 says:

    Looks like the rangers are busy ruining another player, Kovalev… Hows that deal working out ??? whats he got 7 or 8 points in 20 games since the trade???

  22. sportside24 says:

    Sorry i was wrong Kovalev has 9 points in 19 games… New York needs to rebuild through the draft big time…

  23. sportside24 says:

    Kapenen has been horrible, thats why they only traded brendl for him…

  24. OldNord says:

    A kind of Gino Odgick (attitude), but I hope for your organisation that he have not a memorial of Fotiu in the Madison Square Garden 🙂

  25. Bishop7979 says:

    Yep you heard me right ranger fans, Rico “1st round bust” Fata has out scored kovie since the trade. stick Kovie up on the board of players who dissapear once they join the rangers.

    kovies points per game as a pen 1.06

    kovies points per game as a ranger .63

    what a difference a city makes

  26. nskerr says:

    Nick Fotiu. Are you kidding? That’s almost the equivalent of Ken Baumgartner or Mick Vukota. At least you could have lied and said Pierre Larouche or Barry Beck or Ron Dugay (oh, la la, sasoon) or Mike Gartner, but for heavens sake, Fotiu?

    And in all of those cases, great wouldn’t apply.

  27. ThePocketRocket says:

    41 , 42, does it really matter, the fact is that he is too OLD and he is taking up a spot maybe a young kid could have (desire), opps, do the Rangers have youth? The Moose’s days are far behind him, he should face reality and retire. The fact is Lindros is only productive playing his physical game, crash and burn, that is something he does not do night in and night out. Without that part of his game, the results are what you have. Nedved is a whiner period, “the nets should be bigger” ,that was a joke you have to admit, nedved was a whiner when he was Canuck, Penguin etc, guys like that are cancers on any team, Bure and Kovalev are 1 way players that play for themselves, all offence, having one of them is bad/good enough, but 2? Barnaby show boat tactics have caused the Rangers games, that you have to admit, again that is putting himself 1st instead of the team.

    All the above alone brings on bad chemistry, but when you get these kind of guys making these kind of salaries, they become unaccountable period. It’s ok if I don’t score Holik is making more and he aint scoring, or hitting, hell I’m only making $4 million a year why should I do all the dirty work when he is making $5. Ever notice that alot of hockey stars play like they are suppose too when it’s the last year of their contract? With all the talent that the Rangers have, you have to wonder why they have missed the playoffs, for what 5 or 6 years straight ? Who has been the leader during this time. If Messier still had the spark, don’t you think he could keep these miss fits inline? If Sather is such a smart GM, why does he keep adding more oil to an already burning ship? Why does he pay players he does? The point of the salaries is that you have to many guys making over the norm. The Rangers could learn alot from the Red Wings, they have a high pay roll but look at the team, they have it all, leadership, grit and youth spread out evenly. So you see, salaries is a major problem, you happen to call it ego, I agree, big salary = big ego.

    I have to tell you that watching the rangers in the 70’s was great when they had Rod Gilbert and Brad Park

    I’m like you though, I hate this time of year, it’s 4 out 5 years that my Habs are hitting the links early. The problems with the Habs is another chapter.

  28. WP says:

    Yea, but Brendl and Hlavac came in the Lindros trade, so kinda same difference..

  29. WP says:

    Couldnt have said it better myself..

  30. Pock says:

    Ranger fans were chanting refund the other night when they hosted Pittsburg, whats that tell you… unlike the leafs though, there is a next year.

  31. big_booty says:

    “You don’t say anything new….you’re comments are rarely balanced, and always one sided.”

    Oh, come off it already. You’re the one making yourself sound like the hypocrite. You need to face the facts, not opinions.

    Fact is, the Rangers won’t make the playoffs this year.

    Fact is, Glen Sather hasn’t put a winning product on the ice in a decade.

    Fact is, the team with the highest payroll (and one of the best rosters, albeit on paper) constantly gets outplayed by every single team in the league at some point of the season.

    Fact is, the New York Rangers are a poorly run organization from top to bottom.

    Join the 21st century. Live in the here and now. Original Six franchises don’t deserve more respect than any other. Does the Rangers organization deserve more respect than Edmonton?

    If you answer yes, you’re digging your own hole and have no way to climb out of it. The Oil is going to the post-season, while the Rangers are planning April tee times in West Chester.

    Ask Anson Carter how he feels about that.

    I’m not being biased, despite what you might think about me. Yes, I am a fan of a different franchise, but that does not preclude me from wanting the best for the sport.

    What you percieve as one man’s bias is the world’s reality. The sooner you realize that, the better off you will be.

    Think about it.

  32. Tradedude says:

    I say we’re to hard on them. So what they have a large payroll and arn’t making the playoffs. Big Deal. But on the other hand if this CBA doesn;t get finished, it’s gunna be the rangers who screw it up.

  33. Tradedude says:

    there’s way more than that man, i just cant think of any to name of right now.

  34. Kalgon says:

    islander greats?? easy

    1- nystrom

    2- triotter

    3- gilles

    4- smith

    5- tonneli- yes i think he was a great islander


    7- potvin


    if gretz was ever an islander they probably would have won the cup 8 years in a row- oh well

  35. Kalgon says:

    i was at the game in an islander uniform and i was surrounded by like 5 ranger fans who i thought who were like going to jump me, instead they take their jersey’s off and say to me at least your team isnt a disgrace like this team and i was in total shock that they said that

  36. defenestrate says:

    Monopoly money???

  37. NYIchooch75 says:

    Billy Smith anyone?

  38. BlackJackman5 says:

    marquee; they are not french noblemen

  39. beckfan says:

    Do you have any clue about the Ranger organization???? Do you fucking watch the games?!!!!!!!! You have no idea what your talking about.

  40. beckfan says:

    Naaaaaah, just a picture or two…….

    We honor players like Kelly Kisio

  41. ThePocketRocket says:

    What part of my post did you not GET!!!! I have hit the bullseye and you know it!!!! For the record, I do watch the Rangers games via by NHL satellite package. I have a good friend who is a die hard Rangers fan, and he will agree with me on all points!!!! I know hockey, 44 years of it!!!!! I coach, I played, I scout , and i also help run one the top hockey schools in the world. and I can say that because Gretzky sends his boys here!!!! So don’t tell me I don’t know hockey. Explain to us why they have missed the playoffs for the last 6 years. !! and why messier is still there, oh mighty one. Look what has happened to the Canucks since he left, thats right, the playoffs. It’s fans like YOU , that keep your head in the sand and only see what you want that dont know the game, who else is a Beck fan. Have you ever played the game besides on your couch . The FACT IS The ranger players are unaccountable PERIOD. That’s all folks.

  42. beckfan says:

    First of all the reason why Messier is still there is

    A. He wants to keep playing

    B. They keep paying him because Garden brass fucked up after the 97 season by giving Patrick Ewing a huge contract and not Messier! Messier won a championship and Ewing didnt so Messier left and went to Vancouver and the Rangers havent seen the playoffs ever since. Now they decide to repay him.

    And if you payed attention to what the Canuck players have said in the past, they credit Messiers leadership skills for who and where they are now.

    Go ahead and question me on those two fucker!

    And as for this seasons roster, Lindros has played his usual hard hitting style, he just cant score a goal. Just because his stats are down form the norm doesnt mean he isint playing well. Hes going to the net and taking the body winning faceoffs. And hes also doing a heck of a job back checking.

    As for Barnaby, I dont know where the fuck you came up with that hes a selfish player. What kind of crack are you smoking? Hes stuck up for Lindros all season long and for the whole team for that matter. He hardly ever shoots cause hes setting up his linemates because the defence backs off of him when he has the puck for some strange reason.

    Bure and Kovalev, I wont argue there.

    Nedved has played his heart out this season.

    The point that your missing is that the owner is accoutable for their disaster over the last five to six years. He insists on his GMs to go out and buy the best possible product out there to put on the ice, key marque names, year after year. This leads to new players every several months and theres no chemistry. Not to mention that some of the players have no heart or passion ie Kovalev, Malakohv, Bure, Dvorak, Hlavic, Quintal ect.

    If their going to put a product year in and year out that consists of new players playing for a contract or players that cant mesh with other players on the team ( Bure w/ Lindros ) then they arent making the playoffs ever again. I konw how they have to rebuild, its the same in every sport. But you cant do it in New York. Corporate sponsers dont want to see the Jamie Lundmarks and Dan Blackburns any more. If their shelling out all this money, they want to see Pavel Bures and Eric Lindorss’. It goes for every New York team except for the Islanders.

    And by the way im the fist to booo the team because im so disgusted with what theve done over the last few seasons. I wont mind if thet dont make the playoffs so I hope it would teach them a valuable lesson, but I will cheer the name on the sweater if do make it in. So dont tell me I only see what I want, because im NOT one of those fans. Im not like Mikster.

  43. ThePocketRocket says:

    If your disgusted now, then you must be a bitter man cause this has been going on for 6 years!!!! That is a load of garbage that the Canucks credit Messier, I live out here in Canuck land and I can tell you that is it the complete opposite. The room was ALWAYS divided when Messier was here and most were glad to see him gone, including the fans and especially Brian Burke.. The Rangers never have seen the playoffs since The Moose’s return, nice payback. Lindros has nevered played his hard hitting style with the Rangers, I watched him play in Philly and New York , and it is not the same Lindros. That is a bunch of garbage. Lindros was always able to put the puck in the net before the Rangers, just look at his stats.

    Barnaby’s theatrics has cost the Rangers games, a) penalties b)- and pumping up the other team, I seen it happen at least a dozen times. Of course he sticks up for Lindros, that is his job, he becomes selfish with his theatrics, always trying to get on the high lite reels some way or another. Nedved played his heart out, ha, thats a joke, he was looking over his shoulders all season. He is a whimp and Whiner. What you don’t understand, is that the players sign these big contracts , so they have to be accountable on the ice. That does not happen with the sad sacks rangers. they are not accountable. Let me ask you this, if the Rangers were on top of the league this year from the start of the season to the trade line, would of these changes have taken place ? No way, maybe some tweaks, but would Carter, Kovalev, etc be there.The solution to the rangers is simple, get rid of Messier and let someone lead the team, cause as it stands any star going to the Rangers will always think its Messier’s team, and face it, he just doesn’t have it, he didn’t in Vancouver and now the Rangers. He has been past on for the Olympics for years. It is time he left.

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